Early Entry of rains in Junagadh(Saurastra), Make Mangoes more affordable :-
Early monsoon in the state might have brought respite from the scorching heat but it has come as bad news for mango farmers in Saurashtra.
Farmers say they have suffered a double whammy —the longest cold wave conditions in the state coupled with the early rains which affected the Kesar mango crop especially in Saurashtra.
The mango yield fell by over 40 per cent in Saurashtra region. Secretary of the biggest mango marketing yard, Agriculture Produce Market, Talala, HH Jarsania says: "There are hardly any buyers. The rate for a 10 kg carton is usually around Rs 150-160 per kg, but at present the same costs around Rs 60-70," says Jarsania.
In Saurashtra, over 20 per cent of Mangoes are yet to ripen in places like Vanthali.
Meanwhile, mango lovers in Gujarat who had to restrain their mango appetite that sold at Rs 60-70 per kg in May might get a chance to feast on the king of fruits in the last two weeks of the season.
Wholesale dealers and retailers of mangoes say that certain communities, sizeable in number, don’t eat mangoes after the first rains which will cut the demand by 20 per cent. "Mangoes will become affordable once the rains set in," says Magan Motibhai, a fruit retailer at Jamalpur who was selling Kesar mangoes at Rs 40 per kg. "Prices will come down once rains come but the quality and taste may suffer," says Lachhman Rohra, chairman of the Wholesale Fruit Market Association.
Bachubhai Ahir, a farmer from Talala says, "Once the rains begin the crop is totally destroyed and we have to simply dump the crop into the sea." According to Bachubhai about 30 per cent of the crop is still in the fields. Mohan Patel, a resident of Vanthali and a prominent mango farmer says, "In Talala and Junagadh the farmers pluck mango early but in Vanthali the plucking is about to begin and with early rains over 70 per cent of the crop is destroyed. The farmers are incurring huge losses."
PK Kapadia, associate research scientist, Mahuva says, "Due to late flowering this year in several areas, the mangoes are still not ripe and this early rain would definitely affect the crop. Nearly 30 per cent of the crop is due to late flowering," he said.
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